Counseling or therapy sessions often occur one-on-one with a mental health professional, or they are held in a group atmosphere, which is sometimes called group therapy. Sometimes, a couple will meet with a therapist to try and repair a relationship or marriage. Things might not be going well, and the couple has discussed separation or divorce because of the rift in the relationship. Here’s what you need to know about relationship counseling and how it can help your family.
Do I Need Relationship Counseling?
Also known as marriage counseling or couples therapy, relationship counseling might seem even more daunting than individual counseling because you’re sharing personal details with more than one person. It’s not surprising that you might feel emotionally exposed while speaking in such a setting.
Sometimes it’s easy to figure out whether marriage and relationship counseling is something worth putting on the schedule. You’re fighting all the time, and you’ve started wondering whether being apart from the person you love might be best for everyone. Maybe there are arguments about insignificant things that turn into days-long episodes of the “silent treatment.”
If you’re seeking relationship therapy in Dallas, including marriage counseling, couples therapy, premarital counseling or Christian Marriage Counseling, contact Billy Grammer for questions or to schedule a session – 214-766-8886
Will Relationship Counseling Help?
One way to understand how a therapist can help with relationship problems is to examine the way the sessions should proceed. Your therapist or counselor is a neutral mediator, and he or she is there to help you communicate what’s wrong. It’s not always easy to understand an argument from another person’s viewpoint, and that’s how relationship therapy can help.
Often, arguments begin over small things that aren’t really that important in the grand scheme of things, like drinking the milk out of the carton or putting off home improvement projects.
However, these small arguments are a sign that there are bigger problems in play that might be related to one of the following:
- Family (in-laws)
- Mental health issues
- Money and finances
We can become blinded by our own opinions and point of view, and considering life from another person’s shoes can become almost impossible. Marriage counseling can help guide your discussions so that petty arguments and anger don’t prevent you from confronting the real issues.
It’s not always about anger.
Many people assume going to couples therapy is what people do when they’re fighting, but anger isn’t the only emotion involved in therapy. One member of a marriage could feel that the other person doesn’t care for him or her. Couples counseling is one way to discuss those feelings.
It’s scary to bring up feelings of inadequacy, and therapy can help fuel healthy discussions about a relationship. Your therapist can help with feelings that exist all along the spectrum from depression and sadness to anxiety or anger.
Counseling is for all couples.
Because it’s often called “marriage counseling,” it’s easy to assume that family and marriage therapy isn’t a valid solution for your relationship problems if you’re in a long-term relationship and you’re not married yet. Even if marriage isn’t yet on your schedule but you’re fully committed to the relationship, couples counseling is a valid option to consider.
Premarital counseling is also something to consider if you’re experiencing more stress than you think is normal in the months before your big day. Everyone gets stressed before they get married because it’s a big and life-changing event. However, sometimes anger and arguing about little things related to your upcoming nuptials are actually signs that something more serious is going on.
Getting Help is Important for Your Mental Health
We often try to put on a brave face with friends and family when there are problems at home, but trying to deny there are problems in a marriage or relationship can actually lead to mental health problems like anxiety and depression. Depending on the type of problem causing strife in the relationship, fights can also lead to shame, guilt, and even physical health problems.
In severe cases, relationship problems can lead to one or both members of the relationship engaging in substance abuse, and physical altercations can also impact couples who have very deep-rooted, emotional problems. Conflict resolution and help from couples counseling is important for your own health, as well as the well-being of your friends and family.
What to Expect with Your Relationship Counselor
The first step you take toward resolving the problems in your relationship is making an appointment with a relationship counselor. Often, this initial step is one of the hardest because it means you have to admit there’s something wrong in your relationship that you can’t fix on your own.
When you first meet with your relationship counselor, he or she will probably ask some basic questions like “what made you decide to seek counseling,” or “what problems are you experiencing.” You may want to think about what you’ll say in this first meeting so that your therapist can provide the most effective help.
Your first session will be uncomfortable. There’s just no way around it. You’ll probably be nervous, and it may be difficult to say some things aloud. However, these initial relationship therapy sessions are very important to the future of your relationship.
When Should a Christian Couple Seek Marriage Counseling?
Therapy isn’t a “one size fits all” approach to mental health and relationships, and couples may consider Christian marriage counseling as an option. Just like counseling conducted from a secular point-of-view, it’s important to make the decision to receive counseling at an early point in your marital problems.
Proverbs 13:10 says:
Where there is strife, there is pride,
but wisdom is found in those who take advice.
Damage to your relationship happens over time, and problems that have been built over years of fighting can be exceptionally painful to confront. It’s important to consider these warning signs that may indicate marriage counseling is your next step in repairing your relationship.
- Addiction or substance abuse of one or both parties.
- Communication seems futile and leads only to arguments.
- Frequent arguments and an inability to resolve problems.
- One partner feeling his or her needs are not met.
- Lying or deceitful actions.
If you have questions about your relationship and want to know if counseling is an appropriate course of action, contact Billy Grammer to discuss your options.